The Belmont Abbey College Men's Track Team closed out a strong Indoor Season with a victory in the 4 x 400m Relay at the Conference Carolinas Indoor Championship Meet held in Winston-Salem on Sunday.
The team of Steph-Yves Louis, Darius Gardner, Dustin Stewart, and Joe Thierfelder won the race with a new school record time of 3:28.85, edging out King and Mt Olive at the finish line by less than .1 of second. The final event of the meet win moved the Crusaders into 5th Place in the Final Team Standings, with 33 points, and improvement of 2 spots from last winter's Indoor Championship finish. The team broke the previous school record that the team set in January at UNC Chapel Hill of 3:31.51.
School Records and Personal Bests were the order of the day, starting with Thierfelder and Louis in the 400m Open. Thierfelder placed 4th with a time 51.15 and Louis 6th with a time of 52.24. Thierfelder broke his own school record of 51.35 set last week and Louis improved on his best of 52.84. Tim Gill finished 5th in the 3000m Run with a time of 8:45.46, breaking his previous school record of 8:50.02 set last month in Chapel Hill. Other non-scoring Personal Bests were earned by Darren Balkey in the 3000m Run with a time 9:54.93, good for 15th place in the event and Steve Runciman in the Triple Jump with a leap of 40' 4", his effort placed him 8th in the event.
Top 6 scoring performances were turned in by Dustin Stewart in the 800m Run where he placed 3rd with a time 1:59.68, he also placed 5th in the 60m Hurdles with a time of 9.50, and broke his previous best of 9.89 set in January of this year. Thierfelder also placed 5th in the High Jump with a mark of 6' 0.75". Jean Luc Rolland finished 4th in the Triple Jump with a leap of 44' 5.25". The Distance Medley Relay team of Mike Rogers, Runciman, Balkey, and Ryan Caulley earned a 6th place finish with a time of 11:22.47.
Mount Olive won the Conference Championship with 131 points and the runner-up was North Greenville with 109 points.
All-Conference Honors are awarded to the Top 3 finishers in each event, thus Louis, Thierfelder, Gardner, and Stewart claimed Conference Carolinas Awards.
Coach Mike De Witt commented on the teams efforts: "The team closed out an excellent Indoor Season with a great showing at the Championships. Winning the final race and event of the meet was exciting for everyone, the group did a great job on each leg. As a whole, we compete in 13 of the 16 events during the Indoor Season, the team was able to break all 13 school records over the past 6 weekends, that shows the great focus and energy that everyone has put together over that time frame and the preparation it has taken in advance of the season to come out and shoot for improvements in all of our team events. Our group, to the person, is energized and excited to get things accomplished during the week, then puts that work to use with competitive efforts! We are looking forward to working on the Outdoor School Record book."